Friday, 5 May 2017

The Supreme Joy

"What could possibly be more fun?"

Victor Hugo once said:
"The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves"
As lovely as that sounds I think he got it perfectly, completely and exactly wrong. The supreme joy, greater even than knowing you are loved, is the capacity to love. In the end, the question of whether or not we are loved fades into irrelevance in the sheer delight of the knowledge that we can love, for as we love we manifest God who is love, and what could possibly be better than that?

Similarly it has been said that the ultimate question we must all face is "did we know that we were loved?". Again, I think this is perfectly, completely and exactly wrong. In the parable of the sheep and the goats Jesus describes two groups of people who faced the ultimate (literally) question. The second group had simply got on with loving in practise. And it turned out they'd been loving Jesus, the personhood of love, all along. His friend and they didn't even know it.

The ultimate question for us all, as posed by Jesus, is not "did you know you were loved?", but "did you love?". As always, John puts it far better than I could. How can we know if we know God? 1 John 4:7 "All who love are born of God and know God".

"James 1:27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you."

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